Few buyers will need anything more out of their Evoque than that provided by the more economical front-wheel dive version.

What is it?

In spite of Land Rover's off-road heritage it must meet customer demand for an SUV that does not drive all four wheels. It's expected that the majority of Range Rover Evoque buyers will opt for this 2WD version. After all, it looks the same - which is to say it grabs attention like no other rival in the class; and that concept car styling is undoubtedly one of the Evoque's biggest selling points.

It's powered by a recalibrated 2.2-litre diesel engine and the only gearbox available for now is a six-speed manual. As in all other versions the cabin manages to be inviting and stylish without resorting to gimmicks. There is one major difference here though: the lack of a series of buttons controlling the Terrain Response system. Without them the centre console does look a little bare, but only in comparison.

What's it like?

The steering is as direct, light and linear as ever and the car feels inherently agile. A weight reduction of 75kg enhances this while giving the brakes less to do on a spirited drive. Despite that, the eD4 model is the slowest in the range. The numbers say it has a little less torque than the 4WD version, but it still pulls well - and there's no effect on the impressive refinement. The payback is Co2 emissions of just 129g/km and 57.6mpg economy - improvements of 20g/km and eight mpg respectively.

We tested the 2WD version back-to-back with the 4WD Evoque on a series of tasks ranging from climbing a steep hill on mixed grip levels to an emergency lane change on ice. The four-wheel drive car boasts a wider breadth of capabilities and proved more competent in all disciplines, but not by as wide a margin as you might expect.

Should I buy one?

The 2WD model copes with much more than an average road-biased car in the same price bracket would. Most owners won't test its limits while appreciating everything that makes the Evoque such a desirable proposition. Company buyers will really value the emissions reduction.

Shane O' Donoghue

Range Rover Evoque 2.2 eD4 Prestige 2WD

Price: £36,625; Top speed: 112mph; 0-62mph: 11.2sec; Economy: 57.6mpg; CO2: 129g/km; Kerbweight: 1595kg; Engine type, cc: 4cyl, 2179cc, turbodiesel; Power: 148bhp at 3500 - 4000rpm; Torque: 280lb ft at 1750 - 2500rpm; Gearbox: six-speed manual

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Mario B 31 December 2011

Re: Range Rover Evoque eD4 2WD

Sorry, forgot to say, 2WD from LR just does not compute with me. Will this eventually destroy the DNA?

Mario B 31 December 2011

Re: Range Rover Evoque eD4 2WD

While this is all a bit beauty in the eye of the beholder, I think the styling of the X1 is confused, the X3 is a bit amorphous and the the Q5 generic, I do think the Evoque does have a strong stance and a presence that others just do not have. I can see this as translating to showroom appeal.

BriMarsh 31 December 2011

Re: Range Rover Evoque eD4 2WD

A nice bauble for those who have run out of things on which to spend their disposable income. Hope they have enough left for a personal plate though!